Strong requirements (Matthew 10:5-39)


The disciples were given the role of showing to the nation as a whole that the Messiah had arrived and was sending out his agents. This is the point of them limiting their travels to places where Israelites then lived in the land. Their role had three features: they announced the kingdom of the Messiah was shortly to arrive, they hadauthority over...

Read more: Strong requirements (Matthew 10:5-39)

Surprises in the list of names (Matthew 10:1-4)


How would you describe the disciples? Peter was impulsive, Andrew was quiet, James was fiery (a son of thunder) as was John; Philip was slow to understand (as John 14:9 suggests); Bartholomew was contemplative (sitting under a fig tree in John 1); Thomas was sceptical; Matthew was diligent in keeping records; Simon the Zealot was nationalistic;...

Read more: Surprises in the list of names (Matthew 10:1-4)

The challenge of Jesus (Matthew 9:37-38)


The response of Jesus to the then sad situation of lost sheep was to explain it to his disciples and then command them to pray about it. His explanation was that the harvest time had arrived and that there was the potential for a good harvest. The problem was that there were not many labourers working in the harvest field. 

Jesus knew that his...

Read more: The challenge of Jesus (Matthew 9:37-38)

The heart of Jesus (Matthew 9:36)


Sometimes we say of a person that he or she has a big heart. By it, we mean that they can embrace and care about a lot of peopleat the same time. It is obvious from this description of Jesus that he had a very big heart because his heart embraced the crowds that came to listen to him. 

The word that is used to describe the response of Jesus is ...

Read more: The heart of Jesus (Matthew 9:36)

The ministry of Jesus (Matthew 9:35-38)


Obviously, Jesus was engaged in a busy preaching ministry. We are told here where he preached, how he preached, and why he preached. The locations where he preached are said to be the synagogues. One reason for this would be the fact that people gathered there and he had access to speak in them because he was recognised as a rabbi. We should...

Read more: The ministry of Jesus (Matthew 9:35-38)

What did they say (Matthew 9:18-26)


Jesus asked the blind men what they thought of him. He wanted them to reveal to him their faith in him. What is faith? Faith is not an attitude merely based on desperation. Nor is it a response based only on emotion. Instead faith is based on knowledge of who the Lord is. Faith is not the discovery of how bad we are; instead it is the discovery of...

Read more: What did they say (Matthew 9:18-26)

What did they say (Matthew 9:27-34)


Jesus asked the blind men what they thought of him. He wanted them to reveal to him their faith in him. What is faith? Faith is not an attitude merely based on desperation. Nor is it a response based only on emotion. Instead faith is based on knowledge of who the Lord is. Faith is not the discovery of how bad we are; instead it is the discovery of...

Read more: What did they say (Matthew 9:27-34)

What the blind men did (Matthew 9:18-26)


The blind men revealed their priority when they cried aloud for mercy. As far as they were concerned, they did not have a list of benefits, such as if they could not get the one at the top they would accept a smaller benefit. Imagine if we had asked them, ‘Would you prefer mercy or a million shekels?’ They would have replied that they wanted mer...

Read more: What the blind men did (Matthew 9:18-26)

What the blind men did (Matthew 9:27-30)


The blind men revealed their priority when they cried aloud for mercy. As far as they were concerned, they did not have a list of benefits, such as if they could not get the one at the top they would accept a smaller benefit. Imagine if we had asked them, ‘Would you prefer mercy or a million shekels?’ They would have replied that they wanted mer...

Read more: What the blind men did (Matthew 9:27-30)

What the blind men saw (Matthew 9:18-26)


Matthew continues his record of what took place on the day when he was called by Jesus to leave the tax desk and follow him. Maybe one reason for all the activity was a desire of Jesus to show his new servant the amazing things he could expect to see as he was being prepared by Jesus to serve him.

It looks like Jesus was making his way home when...

Read more: What the blind men saw (Matthew 9:18-26)

What the blind men saw (Matthew 9:27-30)


Matthew continues his record of what took place on the day when he was called by Jesus to leave the tax desk and follow him. Maybe one reason for all the activity was a desire of Jesus to show his new servant the amazing things he could expect to see as he was being prepared by Jesus to serve him.

It looks like Jesus was making his way home when...

Read more: What the blind men saw (Matthew 9:27-30)

The faith of the unknown woman (Matthew 9:18-26)


The nameless woman had a long-term illness that had isolated her. Those who knew her would shun her because contact with her would affect them in a ceremonial way and make them unfit for the worship of God. I suspect she felt all alone in the world. Who could she turn to for help? Moreover, the disease she had was regarded as incurable. Another...

Read more: The faith of the unknown woman (Matthew 9:18-26)

The faith of Jairus (Matthew 9:18-26)

Jairus was an unusual person because he was a Jewish ruler who believed in Jesus. We are not told how he came to faith in Jesus. Instead we are told how he showed his faith in Jesus in a particular way. He may have followed the crowds who were listening to Jesus.
No doubt, Jairus had seen Jesus perform miracles. He may have heard that Jesus had...

Read more: The faith of Jairus (Matthew 9:18-26)

Gracious power (Matthew 9:18-26)


Matthew draws the attention of his readers to the power of Jesus over death and disease. His reporting of each incident is briefer than what is said about them in the Gospels of Mark and Luke. Matthew’s concern seems to be to show how Jesus was the answer to the unusual problems experienced by those he helped in these incidents. At the same time, h...

Read more: Gracious power (Matthew 9:18-26)

Doing the right thing with new wine (Matthew 9:14-17)

No doubt, we should ask why Jesus referred to wine here. I would suggest that there may be two reasons. One is that frequently in the Old Testament wine was used to describe the joy that would mark the kingdom when the Messiah came. After all, Jesus is the Messiah and it would be expected that he would refer to what the Old Testament said about...

Read more: Doing the right thing with new wine (Matthew 9:14-17)

What happens when we do the wrong thing? (Matthew 9:14-17)

Jesus gives two illustrations to show the danger of continuing to do the wrong thing. He points out what happens if wrong material is used to mend a hole in an old garment and if new wine is put into old wineskins. Instead of sorting out the problem, the selected actions make the situation worse. 

What is Jesus referring to here when he says...

Read more: What happens when we do the wrong thing? (Matthew 9:14-17)

Doing the right thing at the right time (Matthew 9:14-17)

The matter that concerned the disciples of John was the issue of fasting. It is important to remember that the only regular fast required by God in Israel was on the Day of Atonement, although it was permissible to engage in voluntary fasting if desired. In the religious customs of the time, many traditional people fasted twice a week and it is...

Read more: Doing the right thing at the right time (Matthew 9:14-17)

Doing the right thing (Matthew 9:14-17)

It seems that this conversation between the disciples of John followed on from the meal in the home of Matthew rather than happening sometime later. Mark tells us that the disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting (Mark 2:8), so maybe the meal that Matthew gave for Jesus and his disciples was held on one of the two days each week that...

Read more: Doing the right thing (Matthew 9:14-17)

Troublesome observers (Matthew 9:9-14)

It was common for uninvited persons to present themselves at a meal in another person's house, especially if the individual was wealthy and holding the meal in a large room or in a courtyard. In effect, such people invited themselves, and here some Pharisees went to Matthew's meal.
Eventually the religious leaders made their presence known, and it...

Read more: Troublesome observers (Matthew 9:9-14)

Matthew's meal (Matthew 9:9-14)

Matthew made a meal so that his friends could meet Jesus and his disciples. Right away we can see a remarkable change in Matthew’s outlook, and the features of the change are connected to expressions of love. No doubt Matthew liked his friends before but he would not have previously wanted them to meet Jesus and his disciples. Now he wanted his f...

Read more: Matthew's meal (Matthew 9:9-14)

Jesus and Matthew (Matthew 9:9-14)

Matthew was a tax-collector in Capernaum, which means that he was working for the Roman authorities who governed the land. This was an unusual activity for a Jew to engage in, working for those who had conquered his people. In this regard, Matthew is a picture of all of us in that by nature we are engaged in activities that are against the kingdom...

Read more: Jesus and Matthew (Matthew 9:9-14)

Meeting Jesus (Matthew 9:9-14)


There are different ways of approaching this incident recorded by Matthew. Obviously, it was the occasion of him meeting Jesus and becoming one of his apostles. It was the commencement for Matthew of a life that he could not possibly have imagined. It would never have crossed his mind while he was working in Capernaum that people throughout the...

Read more: Meeting Jesus (Matthew 9:9-14)

Failing the test (Matthew 9:1-8)

It has been the case with the miracles in this section of Matthew that something happens that brings an element of testing into each situation. The leper had been tested as to whether he would obey God’s Word after he was healed and make a journey to Jerusalem to see the priest – he failed; the centurion was tested as to whether he thought Jesus sh...

Read more: Failing the test (Matthew 9:1-8)

Jesus, our faith and forgiveness (Matthew 9:1-8)

The moment came when the paralysed man and his friends reached Jesus. As they arrived, Matthew tells us that Jesus saw their faith. Did he mean by this statement that he had looked inside their hearts and saw what was living there? Or did he mean that Jesus looked at what they had done because their actions were the evidences of their faith? I...

Read more: Jesus, our faith and forgiveness (Matthew 9:1-8)

Showing friendship (Matthew 9:1-8)

Having delivered the two demoniacs in Gadara Jesus returned across the sea to Capernaum, here called his own city. It is the case that the people of Capernaum in general did not heed the message of Jesus. Yet there were exceptions, and the story of one of them is told here by Matthew.

This man had four friends who were convinced that Jesus would...

Read more: Showing friendship (Matthew 9:1-8)

Jesus’ Power Revealed (Matthew 8:28-34)


We can see from the story that the powers of darkness recognised four things at least about the Saviour. First, it is obvious that they recognised who Jesus was because they called him by the title, the Son of God. Some have commented that here, from a surprising source, was the answer to the question asked by the disciples in verse 27 about the...

Read more: Jesus’ Power Revealed (Matthew 8:28-34)

Learning the priorities of Jesus (Matthew 8:28-34)


We can see that Jesus was prepared to take his disciples through a storm in order that he would come to a place where two very needy individuals needed his help. Is it not the case that we find ourselves being used by Jesus after we have come through a storm? It is possible that the spot where they landed was not a place that the disciples would...

Read more: Learning the priorities of Jesus (Matthew 8:28-34)

Realising the competency of Jesus (Matthew 8:28-34)


So far in his encounters, Jesus has brought his disciples into a variety of experiences, but in each of them fear and helplessness was prominent. They would have been frightened of dealing with a leper because of concerns of contracting the disease, of dealing with a Gentile centurion because the Roman authorities could use power against them, and...

Read more: Realising the competency of Jesus (Matthew 8:28-34)

The searching question (Matthew 8:23-27)


We may find it surprising that the first response of Jesus to the prayer of the disciples was to get them to think about their spiritual state rather than to deal immediately with their request for rescue. Of course, he did not take long to deal with the problem, but we do get a hint here of the priorities of Jesus.

It is important to realise that...

Read more: The searching question (Matthew 8:23-27)

The simple prayer (Matthew 8:23-27)


In the storm on the sea, the disciples reveal that they had discovered what to do in a crisis, which was to ask Jesus for help. How did they expect Jesus to save them? They probably could not have answered such a point apart from saying that they knew that he could, even if they did not fully know how. Sometimes we want to know what the solution...

Read more: The simple prayer (Matthew 8:23-27)

Crossing the sea (Matthew 8:23-27)

Life with Jesus must have been full of surprises for his followers. I suspect the disciples were anticipating a surprising experience on this occasion, although the one they went through was probably not the one they had anticipated. What would have been the surprise they imagined? They knew they were going over the lake to Gentile areas, as we...

Read more: Crossing the sea (Matthew 8:23-27)

© (2017) greyfriarschurch.org